, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 22 – Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is on a two-week mission to Canada and France as it intensifies its investigation into five Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) contracts at the heart of the March 2013 General Election.
The seven-member delegation led by PAC chairman Ababu Namwamba met with Canadian Commercial Corporation officials on Monday as it sought information to help unravel how over Sh10 billion of tax payers’ money was spent on election equipment that either failed or was never delivered.
The team’s investigation will later extend to India and South Africa.
Committee Vice-Chairperson Cecily Mbarire (Runyenjes), James Bett (Kesses), Mohamed Abbas (Wajir East), Jackson Rop (Kipkelion West), Francis Gichuke, a forensic auditor from the Office of the Auditor General, Tom Khakame, an accounts officer from Treasury and Committee clerk George Gezemba make up the team.
The contracts under investigation include the financing arrangement done in liaison with the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC).
The probe will also interrogate the supply of the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits contracted by IEBC to Morpho Canada and ultimately supplied by French firm SAFRAN Morpho; and supply of Electronic Voter Identification Devices (EVID) by South African firm, FACE Technologies.
The MPs team, which proceeds to Paris on Saturday, is also scheduled to observe demonstrations of the various equipment assembled by SAFRAN Morpho in Paris and Electoral Services International Inc. (ESI) in Ottawa, in a bid to determine what caused the massive failures.
On Monday, the team was hosted at the offices of CCC in Ottawa, where they held a five-hour meeting with CCC Vice-President Tamara Parschin-Rybkin and Director for Business Development and Sales, Donald Olsen.
The team also met the President and CEO of Morpho Canada, Helene Seguinotte.
On Tuesday, the team was at the Kenyan High Commission where they spent the whole afternoon in a closed door meeting with Dwight Casson, President, and Gordon Sinclair, Vice-President, of ESI (formerly CODE Inc.).
This is the firm that introduced IEBC (then IIEC) to BVR technology for the 2010 referendum, and which controversially lost out in the crisis-hit tendering for the same services in the run up to the 2013 General Election.